Public Media Scan: What’s a story, anyway?

A photo montage of characters from What's Up, Africa?

This week’s Scan is mostly about tinkering with the idea of stories, and the medium in which one is delivered.

BBC’s picking up the banner of satire-as-news-delivery-service, but stitching it into a serious news program (think Borat with a segment on “The News Hour.”)

Andrew Losowsky wonders whether there should be a Birchbox for news. [The Scan goes out via email, first thing on Thursdays, and there was a fun following conversation on Twitter about whether and how this might happen.]

And then there’s the question of whether an experienced storyteller in one medium has any business messing around in another. Haven’t we all thought about it?

So, to the links:

  • Completely Objective. You get a box in the mail. Inside: a copy of Charlie Hebdo. A blank Air Asia boarding pass. Can objects change the news experience? (And is this a public media membership premium?)  
  • A Story Is a Story, Right? Chicago Tribune writer Kevin Pang decided to make a documentary. He learned some stuff about changing media mid-career.  
  • What’s Up, Africa? BBC News program “Focus on Africa” is trying an experiment to reach younger, non-traditional audiences: Satire. Genius, end of the world, or something else? 
As always, if you spot (or make) a great project at the intersection of tech, media and storymaking art, email the details to me at so I can check it out for an upcoming edition of the Scan. You can peruse our archive here. 
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